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About us

IHRDA was founded by two human rights lawyers, Julia Harrington and the late Alpha Fall, who formerly worked for the Secretariat of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The Institute was established in 1998 in Banjul, The Gambia. IHRDA’s determination in defending the human rights of Africans has been its motivating force ever since.

Our Human Rights Award

In recognition for its continuous hard work and commitment in defending, educating and informing about Human Rights in Africa, the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights has granted the IHRDA its Human Rights Award during the 52nd Ordinary Session of ACmHPR held in  Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire (9-22 October 2012).

Our mission

We strive to strengthen human rights protection and promotion in Africa by:

  • Offering pro bono legal counsel for victims of human right abuses;
  • Conducting capacity building initiatives;
  • Disseminating information on the African Human Rights System.

Our endeavours demonstrate that human rights instruments and mechanisms in Africa can be effective.

Our vision

We envisage an African  continent where human rights and access to justice are guaranteed to all by national, African and international human rights  mechanisms.

Our values

Acronym: DID-IT


Board and Staff members are committed to seeking justice


Board and Staff members are steadfast in keeping high ethical standards and these are reflected in the design of programmes and their implementations


All those working at the Institute are committed to accomplish their day to day activities assiduously and conscientiously


At the Institute, we appreciate the importance of collaboration and working together in bringing justice and dignity to the lives of people on the African continent via the promotion and defence of human rights.


IHRDA will continue to be creative and innovative in outlook in order not to produce “more of the same” in terms of projects and activities